And just like that, the credits have rolled on another BendFilm Festival. The 18th annual festival wrapped up its hybrid in-person/virtual screenings Saturday, announcing winners in 20 categories.

This year also marks the first time that the festival has been included as an Oscar-qualifying festival for short films, meaning the short film winners will be submitted to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for consideration for the prestigious awards. Those films are “Joe Buffalo,” “Noor & Layla” and “Washing Machine.”

Juror’s of this year’s festival included some heavy-hitters as well, including talent managers, producers, studio executives, journalists, Olympians, activists, filmmakers and more. The winners of the 2021 BendFilm Festival are as follows:

  • Best in Show: “Youth v. Gov,” directed by Christi Cooper
  • Best Director: Kaveh Nabatian, director of “Sin La Habana”
  • Best Narrative Feature: “The Falconer,” directed by Seanne Winslow and Adam Sjoberg
  • Best Cinematography: Brandon Alperin for “A Hard Problem,” directed by hazart
  • Special Jury Award for Exceptional Performance and Unique Storytelling: “7 Days,” directed by Roshan Sethi
  • Best Documentary Feature: “Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche,” directed by Jared Drake and Steven Siig
  • Best Editing: “Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche,” directed by Jared Drake and Steven Siig
  • Special Jury Award for Indomitable Spirit: “Alaskan Nets,” directed by Jeff Harasimowicz
  • Special Jury Award for Archival Editing: “AIDS DIVA: The Legend of Connie Norman,” directed by Dante Alencastre
  • Best Outdoor/Environmental Short: “Understory — A Journey Into the Tongass,” directed by Colin Arisman
  • Best Outdoor/Environmental Feature: “Youth v. Gov,” directed by Christi Cooper
  • Best Indigenous Short: “Joe Buffalo,” directed by Amar Chebib
  • Special Jury Award for Indigenous Short: “Honor Thy Mother,” directed by Lucy Ostrander
  • Best Narrative Short: “Noor & Layla,” directed by Fawzia Mirza
  • Special Jury Award for Narrative Short: “The Blinding of Itzik,” directed by Anika Benkov
  • Best Animated Short: “Washing Machine,” directed by Alexandra Majova
  • Best Documentary Short: “Last Meal,” directed by Marcus McKenzie and Daniel Principe
  • Special Jury Award for a Documentary Short: “The Roads Most Traveled,” directed by Bill Wisneski
  • Best Northwest Short: “Pho the People,” directed by Brady Holden and Dez Ramirez
  • Best Student Short: “Wirun,” directed by Chad O’Brien
  • Audience Award for Best Feature: "The Rescue," by Academy Award winners Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin
  • Audience Award for Best Short: "Link Sar," by local filmmaker/climber Graham Zimmerman and his partner in Bedrock Films, Jim Aikman
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